• Lawmakers ready for session; let your voice be heard

    Last Thursday, both chambers of the 2019 Indiana General Assembly were called into session for what is referred to as its “long” session. It could last up to four months, although it will most likely adjourn before that.

    The primary chore of this session is crafting and passing the state’s biennial budget. But it certainly won’t be the only issue with which lawmakers grapple. Many of the hundreds of bills that will be introduced will deal with budget matters, but there will be lots of other legislation proposed as well.

  • Fear-mongering on hate crime law

    Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb has made clear his determination to see the state end its dubious distinction as one of only five states without a hate crimes law.

    One argument against Indiana adopting such legislation is, unfortunately, also apparent.

    Last week, Holcomb said that he would be active in the General Assembly’s debate over a hate crimes law. How active? “Uber,” was his reply.

  • Get back to work

    The partial federal government shutdown is now in its fourth week. The American people are thoroughly frustrated and ... understandably so. Immigration and border problems are at the heart of the dispute. President Trump promised to erect a wall, and funding for the barrier has not been forthcoming.

    Actually, our leaders have been kicking this conundrum down the road for far too long. It is time to dispense with the bloviating bluster and resolve this situation.

  • Are there working smoke detectors in your home?

    The Dec. 28 deaths of three Tell City children, ages 3, 6 and 11, shocked and saddened our community. It also brought neighbors, schools and even strangers together to help the surviving members of the Sims family. It’s our understanding that community donations helped to pay the funeral expenses of Danielle Plock Sims and her siblings, Tomas and Roseanna. That shows the true spirit of Tell City and Perry County.

    Now comes the next step, making sure no one again dies in a preventable house fire. 

  • One year’s work leads to New Year’s success

    With Christmas over and all the other winter holidays coming to a close with the passing of the year, it is customary to take on a resolution to improve in some way. As traditions go, this certainly has a great deal of utility, insofar as we actually carry them out in the long run. Still, it’s important to note that not everything can be weighed in intervals as relatively short as 365 days.

  • Perry County farmers will benefit from hemp revival

    A new U.S. Farm Bill finally removes industrial hemp from a list of banned substances. That clears the way for Indiana legislators to pass a bill next year allowing farmers to again grow one of the planet’s oldest domesticated crops. This will add diversity to the state’s agriculture industry and give counties like Perry a chance to get in on the ground floor of what is sure to be a booming industry.

  • City council has opportunity to end expensive perk

    Members of the Tell City Common Council agreed Dec. 3 to have a committee consider whether the city should change its policy of allowing part-time council members to join the city’s health insurance plan. Council members, as well as the city’s attorney, can obtain health insurance through the city and they pay the same premiums as full-time workers. However, like most employers, the city still bears the bulk of the cost. And, city council members don’t work full time.

  • Raise cigarette tax for better Hoosier health

    As the alliance of Indiana health and business groups pushes yet again for the legislature to raise the cigarette tax, let’s hope that the third time’s the charm.

    The upcoming legislative session will mark the advocates’ third effort to sell lawmakers on the idea.

  • Stop spending taxpayer money on health insurance for part-time elected officials

    Part-time elected officials, including city and county council members and county commissioners, should not be offered health insurance as a benefit of their offices and by no means should public money be used to pay for it.

  • A Hoosier vote for redistricting reform

    Hoosier voters, no matter their political persuasion, should celebrate one of the big winners in last week’s midterms redistricting reform.

    Independent redistricting commissions were on the ballot in four states. The initiatives passed in three – Colorado, Michigan and Missouri – by overwhelming margins. The fourth, in Utah, is too close to call.